Wednesday, September 17, 2014

CCL 2014 roll-up

Our eighth annual Christian Culture Lecture with Reza Aslan was a tremendous success. Aslan's dynamic talk--certainly no mere lecture--was riveting, entertaining, and deeply thought-provoking. And we packed the house, selling out O'Laughlin auditorium.

The South Bend Tribune had this to say this morning, and the Observer included a short news article as well. For the complete photo album, go here. Professional photos here and information about access to a video of the talk coming soon!

meet & greet

table talk

pre-talk dinner

the talk

book signing


Reza & the students 

National Advisory Council

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Reza Aslan - CCL 2014

  • In Beyond Fundamentalism: Introduction (3-12), Ch. 1 (15-21), Ch. 2 (34-57), Ch. 3 (61-77), Ch. 4 (86-95), Ch.7 (176).
  • In Zealot: Author's Note (xvii-xxi), Introduction (xxii-xxxi), Prologue (3-9), Ch. 1 (10-16) 
  • Listen to this 9-minute interview on NPR

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

New memoir

We are proud to announce that Professor Emerita, Gail Mandell, has recently published her memoir, Angel Creek. It is available now in paperback and for Kindle on June 30th. Get your copy now!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

We have a photos! And a Facebook page!

Two exciting announcements:

  • Check out our new photo gallery page, which includes albums from 2009 to the present. Please feel free to contact us if you have more photos to share. 
  • Search for "HUST @ SMC" under Facebook's Groups. We are "Closed," but we regularly check the page to approve new members. The page is designed to extend our digital community among HUST students, faculty, alumnae and wannabees...I mean, enthusiasts :).

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New Book Honors Life of Bruno Schlesinger

A new book pays tribute to one of Saint Mary’s most beloved professors, Dr. Bruno P. Schlesinger, who died in 2010 at the age of 99. Bruno Schlesinger: A Life in Learning & Letters, edited by Rick Regan, was published in August and available at

Schlesinger founded the Program for Christian Culture in 1956 and served as the long-time chair of the department, later renamed Humanistic Studies. In 1957, he inaugurated a lecture series that eventually brought over one hundred distinguished scholars to campus, and in 2006 the series was revived in his honor as the Christian Culture Lecture. During his 60-year teaching career, he received many honors, including an honorary doctorate from Saint Mary’s in 1994.

“This little book is a delightful, moving remembrance of Bruno,” says Professor Philip Hicks, department chair of Humanistic Studies. “It belongs on the bookshelf of every Christian Culture/Humanistic Studies graduate—anyone interested in Saint Mary’s, for that matter.”

The nucleus of the book is a chapter by Notre Dame historian Philip Gleason, “From Vienna to South Bend: A Refugee Professor’s Story.” Based on new interviews and research in the Saint Mary’s archives, Gleason’s essay provides the fullest account yet of Schlesinger’s public and private life, including his harrowing flight from Nazism, interrogation by the Gestapo, and month spent in a French jail.

Other contributors to the volume include Schlesinger’s son, Tom, his former colleague, Professor Gail Porter Mandell (Bruno P. Schlesinger Chair in Humanistic Studies Emerita), his friend Father Marvin R. O’Connell (another Notre Dame historian), and alumnae Patricia Ferris McGinn and Mary Griffin Burns. Also featured is a letter to Schlesinger written by the noted spiritual writer, Thomas Merton.

The book is illustrated with several black and white photographs, including childhood and wedding photos. Schlesinger was married for 70 years to Alice Teweles, a book illustrator and portrait artist who died in 2012. Several of Mrs. Schlesinger’s paintings are displayed on the Saint Mary’s campus. Her portrait of former Saint Mary’s president Sister Madeleva is now showcased on the ground floor of Madeleva Hall. It was Sister Madeleva who gave final approval for the Program for Christian Culture, after months of lobbying by Bruno Schlesinger for this experimental curriculum.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Field Trip to Chicago's Field Museum

The History Club at Saint Mary's is sponsoring a field trip into Chicago to see an exhibit on the World's Fair of 1893 at the Field Museum. They have kindly invited us along!

Chicago Field Museum
Saturday, February 8th
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 
Ticket & transportation covered by Department

RSVP to Prof. Williamson Ambrose 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Krista Tippett (CCL 2013) - Resource Guide

We are thrilled to have Krista Tippett, NPR radio personality and journalist, visiting campus this September 24th and 25th for the annual Christian Culture Lecture. Her talk is titled "Civic Healing and Christian Virtue in the 21st Century." Tippett is an ideal fit for the lecture, as she presses us to think about the role religion and spirituality can and do play in public life.
"It's always been very important to me to enlarge imaginations about how this part of life we call religious and spiritual actually works in real, far-flung, 21st-century lives."

To help spread the good word and familiarize folks with her work, we're offering this brief resource guide.

Ways to become familiar with Tippett's work...
  • Listen live to her weekly radio show, "On Being", which focuses on "religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas." In the South Bend area, turn to 88.1 WVPE on Sunday mornings at 6 a.m. 
  • Or, if you don't fancy an early start to your Sunday, listen online to her radio show via NPR's website. You can also find transcripts of the individual shows/interviews since 2001.
  • Read her two books, Speaking of Faith and Einstein's God (reading questions for the former below). 
  • Check her out on TED: "Reconnecting with compassion". Or, watch the video below.

READING QUESTIONS (Speaking of Faith): 
  • What does she mean when she says "faith is as much about questioning as it is about certainties. It is possible to be a believe and a listener at the same time" (3)? 
  • There seem a number of places, particularly as she speaks on social justice, reform, and the role religion plays in fostering such realities, that Tippett's book seems to dovetail with James Carroll's lecture from last year (3-7). Did you have any responses to these? 
  • Do you agree that "a fundamentalist temptation, both secular and religious, accompanies twenty-first-century tumult and runs across the spectrum of our beliefs" (15)? In other words, she takes care to take that word, 'fundamentalism', out of the strict confines of religion and to introduce its errors to a broader, even secular, context. 
  • Tippett reveals a frustration with the connection between politics and religion, or, more specifically, the limits of politics (9). Does this resonate for you? especially today? in what ways? 
  • In what ways does Tippett's biographical chapter, "Remembering Forward," set up the rest of her book? What purpose does it serve--for her? for the reader?
  • She spends a great deal of time detailing the ways in which science and faith are not--as much of our contemporary chatter would presume them to be--in opposition to one another. Instead, she details the overlap in their "ways of looking." What were your responses to these pages (esp. 75-102), these points? 
  • Tippett could have been a HUST major, it seems. She has read and makes reference to early Christianity and the Bible, the Jacob of Jabbok story that so entrances Martin Luther (59), Galileo, Voltaire and Leibniz (81), Julian of Norwich (113), the Benedictines (123), Augustine (132), and many other examples. How did your knowledge (or lack thereof) of these references affect your reading? 
  • Much of this book takes a first person, narrative approach--what Tippett calls a "narrative theology" (133). What were your responses to this style? 
  • The 2008 paperback version of the book also offers a reader's guide with "Questions for Discussion" in the back of the volume.